In the next section of our course, we will consider social stratification in the United States, utilizing the example of class, race and the educational system. Continue to think about the ideas in Chapter 8: Structural Sources of Social Change as we look at the ways in which people are divided into different groups and ranked hierarchically (economic, social, etc.).
We will be watching two documentaries that examine the educational system from a class stratification perspectives during week 6 (Feb 17-22).
In Nursery University, parents struggle to get their toddlers into high end nursery schools in Manhattan.
In Waiting for Superman , the crisis in the U.S. public education situation is put into perspective and examined. Students’ achievements are dropping to the lowest levels in history, making them unable to compete in a global economy, where the U.S. ranks near last when compared against other industrialized nations.
For Tuesday March 1st, we will read chapter 9: Social Stratification (223-242) and discuss class and race issues in relation to the two documentaries.The authors define social stratification as “the pattern of structured inequities” (223). The chapter examines how our society divides people along lines of class, race/ethnicity, gender and other variations and then rewards these groups differently. The chapter provides an overview of different sociological theories that explain stratification: order theory (deficiency theories) and conflict theory (structural theories).
For your blog posting, use the example of one or both of the documentaries to examine the issues explore in this chapter. Highlight one of these theories (order or conflict) and discuss the perspective this theory would have on the stratification of the educational system, using the example of one or two of the documentaries.
On Science Exams, New York’s Students Fall Short
Role for Teachers Is Seen in Solving Schools’ Crises
Leader of Teachers’ Union Urges Dismissal Overhaul
All Providence, R.I. Teachers to get Termination Letters
Teacher Layoff Plans in Los Angeles Pose Broad Implications
I Don’t Want to be a Teacher Any More
American Anthropological Association’s Statement on “Race”
Latinos and the Educational Pipeline